Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 12.0 IBU: 85
Surly Brewing Co. Darkness 2016
What the brewers say
“This massive Russian imperial stout brings waves of flavors: chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, and toffee, finishing with a non-traditional dose of aroma hops.”
What our panel thought
Aroma: “Pumpernickel biscuit, with rising bread dough yeast notes. Dates and bright stone fruit up front, with slightly hot-ferment aromas and booze coming in at the back. The medium-low roast is evident, with an ever-slight chocolate and malt sweetness.”
Flavor: “This beer is a nice balance between dark, sweet chocolate, and roasted malt. It has a rich toasted bread-crust character, malty roast, and tobacco leaves. Slightly earthy hops are present on the sides of the tongue, with small alcohol warmth at the back, and a lingering roast astringency. Some backend fruity esters emerge as it warms. A nice body carries the beer well, and the carbonation is spot on.”
Overall: “An incredible, complex malt profile that challenges the senses but is still delightful to drink, and overall a good beer that has some complexity throughout. It’s woody, cinnamon, earthy, and roasty, with tobacco—like chewing a cigar while eating a chocolate-covered raisin.”
The best new craft beers available in a beer store near you. Sponsored content.
Two pillars of brew- ing history come together to release a beer that represents the origin and the evolution of brewing. Braupakt is deliciously drinkable, showcasing both Weihenstephan’s brewing prowess through their signature yeast and Sierra Nevada’s proclivity for big hops flavor. The initial impression on the palate is of a bouquet of aromas, including subtle touches of banana plus refreshing grapefruit from the American Chinook hops.
A flavorful craft beer that’s uniquely easy to drink? It’s true. Introducing Firestone Lager. While Firestone Lager may not be your father’s lager, it is just as drinkable—which is ultimately the point. In the words of Brewmaster Matt Brynildson, “Firestone Lager is all about enjoying a good, clean beer.”
New Belgium The Hemperor HPA®
Our brewers are always on the lookout for different hops varieties and the complexities and flavors new strains can bring. That’s where hemp comes into the picture. Without getting too nerdy, we found a unique way to recreate hemp terpene flavors in a beer, which complement the inclu- sion of hop flavors and hemp hearts (seeds) in a brand new, delicious way not to mention this beer is extremely dank! The flavors and aromas are so unique that it’s a style unto itself, hence HPA®.
Tröegs Nimble Giant
We had no idea that a little experiment with Mosaic hops would set us on a year-long path to a new double IPA. But seven small-batch Scratch beers later, we found the Giant. Nimble Giant—brewed with Mosaic, Azacca, and Simcoe—gracefully boasts grapefruit rind, pineapple, and honeysuckle notes with a hint of earthy forest floor.